Friday, July 05, 2019

Imagine a world where anything is possible I am flying somewhere above Asia, at an unimaginable height, in a mighty bird fashioned from the earth, fashioned from dirt, and dust, and oil, and trees. Powered by the remains of long dead creatures, built from a centuries old plan that has been designed refined, reworked, and passed down the generations like an elaborate Chinese whisper. An idea handed on like a much loved story. A treasured tale that grows more elaborate, unlikely, and improbable by the day. My circumstances have come about entirely because of the power of the human imagination. Thoughts drawn from the infinitely deep well of the human mind. An ancient body of bottomless water that can simultaneously be black, thick, and poisonous, or so clear and pure that if you were to look into it you could see all of eternity. The fountain of the imagination. The fathomless muse. The eternal lake from which all things that are good, and all things that are not, must spring. Why am I telling you this? Why am I speaking to you in flowery phrases? Why do I sound like an echo of so many people’s words that have come before me? I have been formed from this water. I come from the well. My very being is the result of one impossible idea being built upon another. I am, quite literally, the human embodiment of the most unlikely idea. I am an echo, a song passed on, a grand tale, a myth, a legend, a vicious rumour, perhaps even a viscous rumour. I’m not sure which. I am blasting through the sky inside a machine built from the human imagination. Everything surrounding me within this thin metal pipe has been adapted, manipulated, fashioned, tamed, and domesticated to suit the whims of that imagination. Not every thought is pure. Not every thought is noble. Not every thought is the wisest, best, and good. Many ideas can be wicked, heartless, stupid, selfish and cruel, when humans put their minds to it they can imagine the most wonderful and the most terrifying of things. I am in a machine that is flying higher than most birds, it is an incredible thing. At one moment it is magic, at another it spews poisons and is filled with plastics, glues, useless garbage, and tacky souvenirs. At the same time it contains hundreds of minds. “Each little brain inside each little head is filled up with thinking, though most thoughts go unsaid…” Each mind is carrying its own world of thoughts. Filled with life’s dramas, thoughts of tomorrows and memories of yesterdays. I look around in the darkness and see screen after screen displaying imagined stories brought to life by the combined imagination of my fellow humans. Stories of magic, of drama, from history, or set in the future. Stories from real life, the retelling of old legends, or treasured family favourites. Each story has been imagined then brought to life by thousands upon thousands of creative people. Set designers, prop builders, costume designers, background painters, lighting, sound, and music artists. A cast of millions called into service to entertain their fellow humans in the sky. Meanwhile people are eating food made from imagined recipes. Sipping drinks invented by human minds. All packed imaginatively together. I am in this impossible tube because I have travelled to foreign lands to use my imagination to create an object that I have then fashioned in stone. I carved the object alongside more than a hundred fellow carvers. Each fashioning objects from their imagination or echoes of ideas from those that had imagined before them. We worked in the courtyard of the Bishop’s Palace beside the 900 year old Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim, Norway. Cathedrals are built entirely by human hands working stone in service of the human imagination. Some could say that they are built on the very foundation of an imagined way of interpreting the world. The cathedral too can be both a symbol of immense wonder and joy. A symbol of all that is right in the world and a symbol of all that is wrong with it too. Whatever your belief…one thing is certain. None of the crazy, elaborate, beautiful, dark, impossible world we have built would be possible without the human imagination. So the next time you’re made to feel small for dreaming, for imaging a better world, or a better way of doing something, for being creative (in both your mind and your actions)...the next time you are mocked for daring to dream…the next time someone tells you that creativity and imagination are a luxury that we cannot afford and have no time or space for in our every day lives…the next time…stand your ground and so “No!“ Remind the naysayers that everything we have fashioned around us has come from the human imagination. Every movie they love, every song that they hold dear, every house they may live in, every building they photographed, every car that they’ve been in, every recipe, passed down, every insight into the world, every game that they’ve played, every dream that they strive to bring to life…it all comes from the human imagination. It is our greatest tool and our most fearful of weapons. It is magic and monstrous, both like all the gods and the devils combined. Do not let anyone tell you what is and isn’t possible! Dream the impossible and then see if you can make it so. Pass on your dreams. Even incomplete ones get built eventually. Be a champion for the best of the human imagination. Don’t suppress it. Help create a world where our hearts and minds soar. Imagine a better world and get to work building it. What else should we be doing with ourselves? I should sleep now…perchance to dream? Graham “Dreams last for so long Even after we’ve gone.” Jewel

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Fascinating and thought provoking Graham. Will read more when time permits. Thank you for your comments on my work.